Deering’s Sierra Aponte-Clarke competes in the Southern Maine Classic Invitational cross country meet Saturday. Aponte-Clarke placed 19th as an individual. John Jensenius / For The Forecaster.

The fall sports season is still in its infancy, but some positive trends have already emerged.

Here’s a look back at the first full week of action and a glimpse at what’s to come:

Football

It was a tough weekend for city football teams, but a pair of squads came oh-so-close to the win column.

Friday evening, Deering hosted Gorham, hoping to build on its 30-14 week one win at South Portland and for most of the evening, Deering appeared en route a second victory. Deering took a 6-0 lead in the second quarter on a 7-yard Travis Soule touchdown run, then went up, 14-0, on a 24-yard TD run from Mike Randall and Josiah Cope’s two-point conversion rush. Gorham cut its deficit in half, but Deering made it 20-7 after three quarters on a 36-yard Soule scamper. Gorham then scored twice in the fourth period, including the go-ahead TD with 1:14 on the clock and prevailed, 21-20, dropping Deering to 1-1.

Deering is at 1-1 Massabesic Friday. Last year, the Rams beat the visiting Mustangs, 27-16.

Portland, which lost, 42-3, at Scarborough in its first game, fell to 0-2 Friday with a 28-6 loss at Biddeford. After falling behind, 14-0, Grant Crosby threw the first touchdown pass of his promising career in the second period, hitting Reid Nichols from 52 yards out. The Tigers then put it away with touchdowns in the third and fourth periods. Jamal Moriba rushed for 114 yards, but it wasn’t enough.

“We can ill-afford to make mistakes in the most inopportune of times because it’s going to cost us, especially against a team of Biddeford’s caliber,” said first-year Portland coach Jason McLeod. “They execute so well they’re going to make you pay for it.”

The Bulldogs play their first home game Friday when 1-1 Marshwood pays a visit. The defending Class B state champions nearly upset Thornton Academy Saturday, but lost by a point. Portland and Marshwood didn’t play a year ago.

Saturday, Cheverus (which lost, 48-13, at Kennebunk in its opener) hosted South Portland and the Stags had a golden opportunity to get in the win column, but fell painfully short. The game was scoreless until late in the third quarter when Cheverus’ Sean Tompkins (13 carries, 124 yards) scored on a 9-yard run. The Red Riots drew even early in the fourth period, but on the ensuing kickoff, Tompkins initially bobbled the ball, then collected it and returned it 87 yards for a TD and a 14-7 lead. The Stags couldn’t hold it, however, as the Red Riots drew within a point, then after a Cheverus fumbled, South Portland added a TD and went on top by five. The Stags drove to the shadow of the Red Riots’ goal line as time wound down, but fumbled on fourth down and lost, 19-14, to drop to 0-2 on the season.

“They put together a couple good drives and we fumbled the ball and that put us in a tough spot,” Cheverus coach Mike Vance said. “It’s a tough pill to swallow. These kids have to mature. That’s all there is to it. The team played well overall.”

The Stags hope to get in the win column Friday when they go to 2-0 Gorham. The teams didn’t play last season.

“We’ll cling to our culture which is excellence with integrity,” Vance said. “We do everything to the best of our ability every day. We’ve got some challenges with maturity, but I’m excited. We have some great kids.”

Boys’ soccer

Waynflete’s defending Class C state champion boys’ soccer team started with a 2-0 victory at York. The Flyers got goals from Joey Ansel-Mullen and Ian McClure-Chute and got assists on both goals from Patty Shaw. Waynflete played its home opener Tuesday versus Sacopee Valley (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story), goes to Traip Academy Thursday, has a showdown at Greely Saturday (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story) and travels to St. Dom’s Tuesday of next week.

In Class A South, Portland improved to 2-1 with wins last week at Cheverus (3-0) and at home over Windham (3-1). Anselmo Tela scored twice versus the Stags and Paulo Julio also tickled the twine. In the victory over the Eagles, Steve Matanga had two goals and Tela also scored. After going to Biddeford Tuesday, the Bulldogs are home with Thornton Academy Thursday, visit Westbrook Saturday and welcome Scarborough Tuesday of next week.

Cheverus and Deering were both 1-1-1 at the start of the week.

The Stags bounced back from their 3-0 home loss to South Portland with a 2-1 home victory over Marshwood Friday. Brady Cormier had both goals as Bill LeBlanc got his first win since returning to the team as coach. The Stags were at Massabesic Tuesday, go to defending regional champion Gorham Thursday, host Kennebunk Saturday and play at Deering Tuesday of next week.

Deering got its first victory last Tuesday, 5-0, at home over Noble, then fell, 3-0, at Kennebunk Friday. In the victory, Muntasir Ahmed, Francis Matonga, Rivaldo Ramos Sanchez, Khalid Shati and Ian Sullivan all scored goals. The Rams were at Marshwood Tuesday, host Falmouth Thursday (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story), go to Gorham Saturday and play host to Cheverus Tuesday of next week.

Girls’ soccer

On the girls’ side, Cheverus continues to set the pace. Last week, the Stags improved to 3-0 after 1-0 wins at Portland and Marshwood. Riley O’Mara had the goal against the Bulldogs and Mia Kratzer scored against the Hawks. The Stags hosted Massabesic Tuesday, welcome Gorham Thursday, visit Kennebunk Saturday and play host to Deering Tuesday of next week.

Portland began the week 1-1-1 after a 1-0 home loss to Cheverus and a 2-2 draw at Windham. Annika More scored both goals and goalkeeper Caroline Lerch made a dozen saves against the Eagles. The Bulldogs hosted Biddeford Tuesday, go to Thornton Academy Thursday, host Westbrook Saturday and travel to defending Class A South champion Scarborough Tuesday of next week.

Deering fell to 0-3 after 3-0 losses at Scarborough and Noble and at home versus Kennebunk. The Rams hosted Marshwood Tuesday, go to Falmouth Thursday, welcome Gorham Saturday and play at Cheverus Tuesday of next week.

In Class C South, Waynflete opened with a 1-0 home loss to Traip Academy and a 5-2 home win over Fryeburg Academy. Goalkeeper Jesse Connors made eight saves in the setback. In the win, Devan Sherry had three goals, while Clara Sandberg and Kilee Sherry also scored. The Flyers were at Sacopee Valley Tuesday, host Old Orchard Beach Friday (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story) and welcome St. Dom’s Tuesday of next week.

Field hockey

Cheverus’ field hockey team opened with a frustrating 2-2 tie at Marshwood and a last-second 3-2 loss at Biddeford, then handled visiting Sanford, 5-1, and blanked Portland/Deering, 7-0, to improve to 2-1-1. Lucy Pirone and Lucia Pompeo scored against the defending Class A state champion Tigers, but Biddeford rallied, then won on a penalty corner after time expired. Against the Spartans, Pompeo had a hat trick, while Pirone and Mary Kate Murphy also rattled the cage.

“We had a good mentality today,” said Pompeo. “We know we have the physical ability. We just needed the mental edge and we had that today. We can hang with anyone.”

“This is a league with so many talented teams and every game is a big game,” Cheverus first-year coach Theresa Hendrix said. “Starting with that tie, then coming down to the last second against Biddeford, the girls needed a game like this to build their confidence.”

Taylor Tory had four goals and Pompeo produced another hat trick against Portland/Deering. The Stags go to Scarborough Wednesday (see pressherald.com/forecaster-sports/ for game story), host Bonny Eagle Saturday and travel to Kennebunk Tuesday of next week.

Portland/Deering fell to 0-5 after losses last week to visiting Bonny Eagle (6-1) at host Kennebunk (3-2) and Cheverus (7-0). Rebekah Dunn and Noelle Walker had goals against the Rams. Portland/Deering sought its first victory Monday when Westbrook paid a visit. After going to Windham Wednesday, Portland/Deering is home versus Thornton Academy Friday.

Volleyball

Cheverus, Deering and Portland’s volleyball teams all entered the week seeking their first victory.

The Stags fell to 0-3 after 3-0 losses last week to visiting Falmouth, the defending Class A state champion, and host Scarborough (11-25, 20-25, 17-25).

Deering opened with a five-set home loss to Thornton Academy, then lost in three games at Biddeford. After hosting Falmouth and former coach Larry Nichols Tuesday, the Rams play host to Cape Elizabeth Friday and travel to Bonny Eagle Tuesday of next week.

Portland dropped three-set decisions to visiting Biddeford (20-25, 22-25, 23-25) and host South Portland (15-25, 16-25, 13-25) last week. Amanda Kabantu had six kills against the Red Riots. The Bulldogs hosted Thornton Academy Tuesday, play at Brunswick Thursday and welcome Falmouth Tuesday of next week.

Cross country

Portland’s Liam Niles finishes 22nd at Saturday’s Southern Maine Classic Invitational. The Bulldogs were eighth as a team. John Jensenius / For The Forecaster.

City cross country teams took part in the Southern Maine Classic Invitational Saturday in Gorham.

In the girls’ meet, won by Bonny Eagle, Portland came in fourth and Cheverus was 12th. The Bulldogs were led individually by freshman Annabelle Brooks, who completed the 5-kilometer course in 19 minutes, 43.15 seconds, good for 11th place. The Stags’ top finisher was Leska Whitmarsh (43rd, 21:24.55). Deering didn’t score as a team, but Sierra Aponte-Clarke had the 19th-best individual time (20:16.94).

In the boys’ race, won by Scarborough, Portland placed eighth. Liam Niles (22nd, 16:57.26) was the fastest Bulldog. Cheverus came in 12th and was paced by Liam Herman (52nd, 17:45.03).

Friday, Cheverus welcomes Marshwood, Massabesic, South Portland and Windham, Deering is home against Biddeford, Falmouth, Kennebunk and Thornton Academy and Portland joins Gorham at Scarborough.

Golf

Cheverus gave first-year golf coach Billy Goodman his first victory last week, 7-6, over Portland. The Stags then fell to 1-4 after losing to Scarborough (11.5-1.5) and Falmouth (9-4).

Portland bounced back from its loss to Cheverus to beat South Portland, 8-5, to improve to 3-2.

Press Herald staff writer Mike Lowe contributed to this story.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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